Combined effects of electromagnetic field and low-level laser increase proliferation and alter the morphology of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Jan;32(1):151-160. doi: 10.1007/s10103-016-2097-2. Epub 2016 Oct 21.


In recent years, electromagnetic field (EMF) and low-level laser (LLL) have been found to affect various biological processes, the growth and proliferation of cells, and especially that of stem cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of EMF and LLL on proliferation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAT-MSCs) and thus to examine the impact of these therapeutic physical modalities on stem cell engraftment. hAT-MSCs were isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue of six persons ranging in age from 21 to 56 years. EMF was applied for a period of 7 days, once a day for 30 min, via a magnetic cushion surface at a frequency of 50 Hz and an intensity of 3 mT. LLL was applied also for 7 days, once a day for 5 min, at radiation energies of 3 J/cm2, with a wavelength of 808 nm, power output of 200 mW, and power density of 0.2 W/cm2. Nonexposed cells (control) were cultivated under the same culture conditions. Seven days after treatment, the cells were examined for cell viability, proliferation, and morphology. We found that after 7 days, the number of EMF-treated hAT-MSCs was significantly higher than the number of the untreated cells, LLL-treated hAT-MSCs were more numerous than EMF-treated cells, and hAT-MSCs that were treated with the combination of EMF and LLL were the most numerous. EMF and/or LLL treatment did not significantly affect hAT-MSC viability by itself. Changes in cell morphology were also observed, in terms of an increase in cell surface area and fractal dimension in hAT-MSCs treated with EMF and the combination of EMF and LLL. In conclusion, EMF and/or LLL treatment accelerated the proliferation of hAT-MSCs without compromising their viability, and therefore, they may be used in stem cell tissue engineering.

Keywords: Electromagnetic field; Fractal analysis; Low-level laser; Mesenchymal stem cells; Therapeutic application; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adult
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation / radiation effects
  • Cell Shape / radiation effects*
  • Cell Size / radiation effects
  • Cell Survival / radiation effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Fractals
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / radiation effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult